Two sources, including a prominent club coach, have told Extra Inning Softball it’s related to Title IX issues. “(Several players) filed Title IX complaints on him,” the coach said, going back to accusations made last month. A parent of a softball player with ties to the SEC school said, “It is some kind of Title IX thing.”
The university has not gone public with any statements confirming or denying the reports.
Smith is going into his sixth year at Ole Miss, with a 186-114 overall mark and 46-73 record in the SEC.
Prior to coming to Mississippi in May of 2014 he was the head coach at McNeese State, where he led the Cowgirls to Southland Conference regular season championships in 2013 and 2014, and at Cal Baptist, where he led the team to the 2009 NAIA National Championship..
In 2019, the rebels went 41-20 and finished 5th in the SEC—it’s highest finish ever in the conference—and had 14 wins over ranked opponents before concluding the year at No. 15 in the final NFCA Coaches Poll.
This would be the second time in less than a year Smith has been suspended by the Ole Miss athletic department: he was suspended in February of 2019 for the opening weekend of play due to "not meeting the university’s expectations for operating the program," according to a report issued by the school.
The program has been on an upswing both on the field and in recruiting. The Rebels had a strong recruiting class, signing seven players in the Class of 2020 and finished ranked #15 in the Extra Inning Softball Top 50 rankings.
Jacksonville Storm pitcher Aynslie Furbush, #47 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, EC Bullets-Byars catcher Paige Patterson, #61 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, and Athletics-Mercado/Smith 2B Jessica Acosta, #65 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, were three top 100 signees for the Rebels.